Fine mapping of complex trait genes combining pedigree and linkage disequilibrium information: a Bayesian unified framework

Genetics. 2003 Apr;163(4):1497-510. doi: 10.1093/genetics/163.4.1497.


We present a Bayesian method that combines linkage and linkage disequilibrium (LDL) information for quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. This method uses jointly all marker information (haplotypes) and all available pedigree information; i.e., it is not restricted to any specific experimental design and it is not required that phases are known. Infinitesimal genetic effects or environmental noise ("fixed") effects can equally be fitted. A diallelic QTL is assumed and both additive and dominant effects can be estimated. We have implemented a combined Gibbs/Metropolis-Hastings sampling to obtain the marginal posterior distributions of the parameters of interest. We have also implemented a Bayesian variant of usual disequilibrium measures like D' and r(2) between QTL and markers. We illustrate the method with simulated data in "simple" (two-generation full-sib families) and "complex" (four-generation) pedigrees. We compared the estimates with and without using linkage disequilibrium information. In general, using LDL resulted in estimates of QTL position that were much better than linkage-only estimates when there was complete disequilibrium between the mutant QTL allele and the marker. This advantage, however, decreased when the association was only partial. In all cases, additive and dominant effects were estimated accurately either with or without disequilibrium information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bayes Theorem*
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Chromosome Mapping / statistics & numerical data
  • Computer Simulation
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • Linkage Disequilibrium*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*